The Blackberry KEYone Black Edition has made its way to the United States via Amazon. The slightly bumped-up-in-specs version of the KEYone is $549.99 at the online retailer and readily available.
Powered by the octa-core Snapdragon 625, the Blackberry KEYone Black Edition sports 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage built-in, which can be expanded up to an additional 256GB thanks to the MicroSD slot. It has a 4.5-inch display has a resolution of 1620 x 1080 and is powered by a 3505mAh battery that supports Quick Charge 3.0. Of course, the unique feature of this phone is the built-in physical QWERTY keyboard.
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Blackberry has announced that the Blackberry PRIV, the first Android based device the company released two years ago, will no longer be seeing regular updates. The news isn’t shocking and fits with what most manufactures, including Google, do when it comes to software updates. Most only go out 24 months from release of the device.
For their part, Blackberry is doing their best to spin the news, indicating that they made the PRIV more secure out-of-the-box and it needed less patching anyway. They also indicated that they will be providing updates should a critical security flaw be discovered and that warranty support is still provided.
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While it is not very surprising, it is still sad to see. Blackberry has announced that they will be halting all internal hardware development and will focus only on software development going forward. The news came from the company’s 2nd Quarter financials report call, where the company announced revenue of just $334 million for the quarter. That is down nearly 50% from last year and is a far cry from the billion-plus quarters of just a handful of years ago. How the mighty have fallen.
To their credit and the credit of CEO John Chen, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The company is shifting to a software company and the returns on that shift and investment are already starting to happen. The new Blackberry will be building apps and services around security and productivity for Android devices, two areas that Blackberry has always excelled at doing.
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It wasn’t long ago that Blackberry as a company was on their deathbed. Blackberry 10 was dying a death and the company switched gears to Android, making the secure and eagerly anticipated Blackberry Priv. The device got reasonable but not glowing reviews and the price tag of $700 was laughable at best. Still, the Priv did okay at first and both AT&T and T-Mobile picked up the device. Now, nearly a year later, T-Mobile has dropped the Priv from their site and AT&T admits that the device is struggling with them.
What went wrong?
There are a lot of things that led to the situation Blackberry find themselves in at this point. The question is, will we be on death watch once again for a company that just a handful of years ago ruled the enterprise mobile device market?
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The all singing and dancing Blackberry Priv is now available and the initial reviews of this Android device complete with a physical keyboard are pretty good. As is usually the case when a new phone is released, any special software bits and wallpapers are stripped out by the developer community for everyone to enjoy and the Priv is no different.
Over on the Mobile Wallpaper page I have posted all five of the stock wallpapers that come with the Blackberry Priv. These, along with the over 100 others, are completely free to download and you can do it either from your Android device, PC, Mac or Chromebook.
Mobile Wallpaper Page
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The all new Blackberry Priv has landed and Blackberry seems to be seriously focused on seeing their flagship Android device to success. Part of that effort is keeping it up-to-date and in a blog post today the company is aiming to do just that and to do it frequently. Blackberry has announced that the Blackberry Priv will be receiving monthly security updates, much like the Google Nexus devices do today. This commitment is similar to that of HTC who has promised their new One A9 will receive security updates 15 days after Google releases them each month.
One of the biggest perceptions – correct or otherwise – of Android is that it is less secure than other platforms. Google, after the Stage Fright security challenge, has doubled-down on getting updates out to their devices but that hasn’t been the case with other manufactures. Blackberry for their part, want to be on top of it and that is nothing but a good thing for users who are getting or considering getting the Priv.
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